Plastic hinge location in columns of steel frames subjected to seismic actions
Peng, Brian H. H.
MacRae, Gregory A.
Walpole, Warren R.
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Several steel structure standards around the world contain an equation to encourage any column flexural yielding during earthquake shaking to occur at the column ends, rather than along the column length. The accuracy of these equations and their applicability to columns of both moment frames and braced frames are examined in this paper. It is shown, using an analytical procedure developed from first principles considering the reduction in member stiffness from axial force due to geometric and material nonlinearity, that the existing code equations are conservative. Less conservative empirical equations are developed based on the analysis results. It is found that these equations are applicable to frames with a braced connection, rather than a moment connection into the column. Time-history analysis of eccentrically-braced frames with inverted V-bracing, where the active link occurs at the centre of the beam, is carried out. The likely column end moment ratio needed for the new equations is determined. The analysis also shows that yielding often did not occur in the bottom story columns during earthquake excitations. A simple check is proposed to relate the axial force limit and the design drift to flexural yielding of columns which can be used in conjunction with the proposed equations.